Bulls and Bears at the Trough
(how the free market economy slaughters pigs)

This article is in response to an inquiry about a book by Arianna Huffington called Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America

I've been thinking about the beauty of Enron.

Granted, our system is not perfect.

However, the US free market economy sure is sweet.

Think about Enron and the lessons learned (with no new laws or regulations.)

The initial evidence suggests that there was a conspiracy of corruption.

Who is responsible... and what happened to them?

1) shareholders -- invested in a company without doing their homework... left the policing up to someone other then themselves.

Now, they are left with nuttin'.

2) employees -- worked for a company either knowingly doing the "wrong thing"... or not responsible enough to ask important questions (thus remaining ignorant.)

Now, they have no job at Enron. (This is probably even more important to what happened at Arthur Anderson. But, we'll get to that in a minute.)

Of course, in this instance... their was outright fraud by a few. So, some pity should be shown for the people (in either of these "classes of people") that did not break the law.

EXCEPT for employees who were also shareholders... and invested large parts of their retirement account, etc. in Enron. These people should be shown no pity. A diversified portfolio would have reduced their risk to such an unfortunate event.

(and as a loan officer, I've seen far to many employees who are invested solely in their employer's stock.)

3) those who did break the law. So far there have been indictments, assets frozen and loss of jobs. Some have/ will be barred from ever serving for a publicly traded company. Some will go to The Big House for a new "extra wide pin-stripped suit."

Does that cover those people with Enron?

And, what about the company responsible for auditing Enron?

I know some people who were partners at Arthur Anderson... ask them what happened when their company failed to do its job of being "an independent" auditor. Not only did they lose their job... they lost a huge financial investment... as well as their career.

Thus, it would appear that the justification of the free market economy is doing just fine on its own.

I hope all business matters work out as well as enron appears to be.... hmmmm... perhaps we should offer Arianna Huffington a few new titles instead of --

"Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America"

Wormbrains at the Trough: how ignorant investors and employees are undermining America

or maybe...

Bulls and Bears at the Trough: how the free market economy slaughters pigs


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